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My wife is a Chinese national from Heilongjiang. She hasn't been back to China for almost a year now. Saint Lucia typically has visa-free access for Chinese citizens. We have lived in England together for ~5 years and I am a British citizen.

According to Saint Lucia newspapers (1, 2, 3), I see that Saint Lucia has just imposed a travel ban on visitors who have visited China in the last 14 days. I didn't find any reports that this applies to Chinese citizens, only any non-Saint Lucian who has visited China in the last 14 days who tries to enter Saint Lucia.

My wife hasn't visited China in almost a year, but I'm afraid that she may be denied entry when we arrive on Saturday 8th because she is Chinese and has a Chinese passport, and paranoia is high at the current time.

What kind of evidence is suggested in cases like these to validate claims that she was in England (and thus not in China) during this period? I'm trying to:

  1. Get evidence from her work's HR, but I'm not sure we will get it in time.
  2. Use the stamps from her passport to show she didn't leave the UK (Chinese citizens need a stamp on exiting the UK), but I'm not sure whether they will accept that or be sure of the implications.

Are there any other documents which could or should be provided in situations like this?

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  • Some countries deny Chinese passport also at this point. For example, Singapore accepts only long term residents with Chinese passport. – Anish Sheela Feb 7 '20 at 2:42
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    @AnishSheela Sure, but this is about Saint Lucia -- nobody so far seems to be saying they are denying it :-) – Chris Down Feb 7 '20 at 3:04
  • To circle back, going through Saint Lucia immigration was completely uneventful. They lightly asked if my wife had been in China in the last 14 days, but didn't ask for any evidence when she said no. Seems at least for this case there wasn't much need to worry :-) – Chris Down Feb 9 '20 at 2:24
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It is famously hard to prove a negative, and China is not going to issue an official statement stating that you haven't been there, so you'll need to work with what you have.

In general, from what I've seen, the vast majority of immigration checks on where you've been rely almost entirely on honest self-declaration, backed up with the force of the law if they catch you lying. Given that you have positive evidence of living somewhere else (your UK residency card), plus a lack of UK/Chinese stamps that would contradict your story, I'd say it's highly likely they'll allow you to enter.

The one wrinkle in the ointment is that at time of writing, Timatic does not appear to be aware of the China ban for St Lucia. If/when the ban does come through, the airlines will be looking at this to see if you can enter, and depending on the wording they may or may not allow you to board. So keep an eye on this site for early warning.

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  • Thanks for your help! Chinese stamps aren't mandatory if you use the e-gates, so not sure if the lack of stamps would be convincing or not. The lack of an exit stamp from Britain might be, though, I'm not sure. – Chris Down Feb 7 '20 at 4:12
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    @ChrisDown IATA still hasn't been notified of the St Lucian ban, but keep looking here cms.olympicair.com/timatic/webdocsI/countryinfo.html (Country=St Lucia, Section=Passport, Subsection=Admission & Transit Restrictions) – Crazydre Feb 7 '20 at 5:16
  • @ChrisDown Odds are St Lucia immigration will not be all that familiar with Chinese e-gates... – lambshaanxy Feb 7 '20 at 5:26
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    @lambshaanxy But they will know that most countries do not stamp the passports of their own citizens, so lack of stamps from country X in a passport issued by country X usually does not mean anything at all. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Feb 7 '20 at 7:48

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